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Exploring the social, strategic and community-based antecedents of norm-breaking behaviors: evidence from the Italian opera field

Cancellieri, Giulia (2016) Exploring the social, strategic and community-based antecedents of norm-breaking behaviors: evidence from the Italian opera field. Advisor: Riccaboni, Prof. Massimo. pp. 146. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

Distinctiveness and conformity are core interests for researchers of organizations and management studies. Distinctiveness allows firms to cultivate new identities and styles and to contribute to the evolution of entire industries through innovation. However, conformity is recommended as audiences are more likely to accept organizations whose product offering follow widely established normative expectations embodied in conventional product features while sanctioning nonconforming behaviors that run against the taken for grantedness of established prescriptions. Several studies have investigated how organizations face the tension between conformity and distinctiveness as a way of gaining social and economic benefits (e.g., status advantage, reputation improvement, better financial performance and competitive advantage). My dissertation focuses on unexplored social, strategic and community-based factors enabling organizations to pursue distinctiveness even in contexts where conformity pressures are strong. I explore this topic in the innovative empirical setting of Italian opera where opera houses’ need to achieve distinctiveness through the artistic renewal of their programming strategies clashes with the necessity for them to conform to taken for granted expectations for the preservation of a historically established operatic patrimony. This research falls into two broad streams. The first examines how organizations’ social positioning (i.e., social standing) affects their ability to violate established normative prescriptions through nonconforming behaviors and which strategic actions enable them to offset the penalties of nonconformity. The second sheds light on the community-based antecedents of opera houses’ non-conforming behaviors and contributes specifically to the arts management literature on innovation in performing arts organizations. Within this second perspective I conducted an analysis of the opera audiences’ profile as a way of providing opera managers who aspire to renew their artistic program with insight into the specific traits that characterize their audience. The dissertation is structured as follows. First, using network analysis and panel data regression analysis, I explore how organizations’ social positioning (its status) affects their willingness to adopt nonconforming behaviors. Second, I theorize and empirically test how organizations can act strategically to mitigate the potential penalties that derive from a particular form of norm-breaking behaviors which consists in hybridizing the features of a taken for granted category of products infused with established normative prescriptions. Focusing specifically on the arts management literature, I then theorize about the political and economic factors that may drive norm-breaking behaviors in the field of opera. Finally I close the dissertation with an analysis of the profile of the Italian opera audience as a way of providing opera houses’ managers with an in depth knowledge of their audience-base which can be put at the service of the development of innovative programming strategies.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
PhD Course: Computer Decision and System Science
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/197
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2016 06:47
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/197

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